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WKUWORLD Continuous Karate Rules 


1. Competitor’s Uniform 

  • The competitors must be wearing a clean and proper uniform 

  • The competitors‘ top must have sleeves covering at least to the mid area of the upper arm (Optionally it can be reaching the elbow or down to the wrists) 

  • The Competitors’ pants must extend to the feet; no zipper fasteners, pockets or buttons are  allowed. 

  • Traditional uniforms are permitted 

  • The waistline must always be visible, even if the Competitor chooses not to wear their belt; Ideally due to different colour top and bottom. If the waistline is difficult to identify, the Centre  Referee may instruct the corner to use a belt. 

  • In the absence of a belt, the uniform top needs to be tucked into the pants.  🖉 Competitors are not allowed to wear any metal objects that may cause injury to their  opponent; piercing, chains, watches or earrings are not allowed. 

  • Badges of the respective club, associations or sponsor along with names, slogans are permitted if  they do not offend public decency 

  • Headbands, hairnets, durags and scarves are optional 

  • Long hair must be tied back with an elastic band. Hairgrips are not allowed. 🖉 Finger- and toenails must be trimmed and clean. 


2. Duration of a Bout 

  • Duration of the matches is one – 1½ minute match. 

  • The fight should only be interrupted if there is an injury, if the safety is not in order or if a severe penalty is in order. 

  • If the fight is stopped due to injury, then the referee should decide: 

    • Who caused the injury 

    • Whether it was intentional. 

    • If it was self-caused. 

  • If the injury is not intentional and the fighter cannot continue, the winner is the uninjured fighter. 

3.Start of a Bout 

  • The Centre Referee shall stand in the centre of the fighting area/matts facing the timekeeper table 

  • Three (3) umpires are mandatory to act as scoring judges to determine the winner of the bout 🖉 The three (3) umpires/judges shall be seated in the centre of each perimeters of the matted  fighting square facing the timekeeping table 

  • Once the Competitors have been approved by the umpires or the centre referee on their safety  equipment the bout is ready to begin 

  • The Centre Referee shall check that the Coaches and the umpires are seated in their respective positions and the Timekeeper are ready and in focus to start 

  • The Centre Referee shall ask that the Competitors to touch gloves and then back up to their red  or blue starting position 

  • The Centre Referee shall demand to start the time and immediately order the competitors to  “Fight” 

  • The clock must continue to run throughout the match until the Centre Referee requests from  the Timekeeper to “Stop the Time”. (In case the competitor needs to fix their gear or when a  warning is being issued) 

  • Only the Centre Referee has the authority to stop the fight 

4. Judging and Evaluation 

  • Number of points scored 

  • Number of minus points 

    • Only in the situation of a draw after the previous points of evaluation the judges may consider  the following two criteria to determine the winner to determine the winner: 

  • Fighting spirit and initiative 

  • Effective parries and counterattacks 

  • To score points all effective legal kicks or punches must hit directly without being blocked or parried  on any legal area. For punches, the technique must be issued from the striking zone of the closed  glove. 

  • The winning fighter of a round gets 10 points, his/her opponent 9 points. 

  • In Light contact deliberate knockouts are prohibited – exceptions are clashes of force (i.e. the  knocked out competitor moves into the technique of his/her opponent hence multiplying the  knocking force)


5.End of a Bout 

  • The match is over only if the Centre Referee says “stop”/“time due to 

    • Elapsed Time 

    • Injury of a competitor and doctors decision (DoD) or withdrawal 

    • Surrender of a competitor 

    • Disqualification of a competitor 

  • The  Timekeeper  can  also  throw  in  a bean  bag  close  to  the  Competitors’  feet  when  the  time  expires 

  • When  the match is over,  the Centre Referee will  take  the hand of each Competitor and  raise  the hand of the winner after the announcement of the ring inspector 

6. What is a Point? 

A point(s) is a Martial Art technique executed by a Competitor  

  • Dynamically 

  • With control & recoil 

  • With accuracy (targeting a legal area while having that area in clear vision)

  • With the correct attacking tool

    • A. Fist (Forefist/Front of Fist only) 

    • B. Foot (Instep, Heel, Sole, Ball of Foot) 

  • Speed 

  • Balance (if a competitor is pushed he/she can still score if executing a correct technique while  loosing balance) 

  • Appropriate Power according to the age and weight categories 

Scoring Area:  

  • 1- Entire head and face (including the face guard) 

  • 2- Front and sides of the body above the waist 

  • 3- Sweeps below the ankle. 

Every POINT equals one (1) CLICK on the handheld CLICKER or electronic scoring device

  • Any hand techniques scores as 1 point 

  • Foot Sweep scores as 1 point (a foot sweep or spinning sweep must be made in an upright  position and make contact to their opponents’ leg below the ankle and ONLY to the inside of  the foot or heel to heel. The opponent is swept if his/her balance is broken and at least three  (3) parts of his/her body touch the matts 

  • Kick to the body scores as 1 point 

  • Kick to the head scores as 2 points 

  • Jump kick to the body scores as 2 points 

  • Jump kick to the head scores as 3 points 

7. Techniques 

7.1 Legal Techniques 

  • Jab, Cross/Reverse Punch, Hook, Uppercut, Back Fist, Front Kick, Side Kick, Spinning Back Kick,  Roundhouse/Turning Kick, Hook Kick, Crescent Kick, Axe Kick, Sweep, Spinning Sweep and all  previously listed kicks while jumping or spinning  

  • Low Roundhouse/Turning Kick with the instep to the opponents thighs (LC Kick-Light ONLY) 

7.2 Illegal Techniques 

  • Palm Hand, Ridge Hand, Spinning Back Fist, Knife Hand, Elbow and Knee Strikes, Throws,  Pushing with arms or gloves, Low Kicks (exception is the previously mentioned Roundhouse  Kick in Kick Light) and Punches below the waist and back of the body, Head Butts, using thighs, Scratching, Biting, Spitting, Verbal Abuse to the Referees or his/her opponent. Excessive  Contact, Clinching, Aggressive Behaviour, Running out of the ring, Strikes with Shins or Foot  Sweeps above the ankle. 


8.Referee’s Responsibilities 

  • The Centre Referee should be the most experienced Referee at the matt and is thoroughly  versed on the rules and order of competition. He/she promotes the safety of the Competitors,  enforces the rules and ensures fair play 

  • The Centre Referee starts and stops the match, issues warnings and minus points,  communicates clearly with the umpires and timekeeper 

  • The Centre Referee shall ask the doctor to inspect  a competitors’ injuries  even  if  they seem minor and try to monitor the injury throughout the competition 

  • The  Centre Referee is  not  to  determine  the  seriousness  of  an  injury  – the  judgment  of  the  injury will always lie with the doctor/ physician 

  • In the case of an injured competitor, the competitor him-/herself, the doctor or the coach can  request the Centre Referee to stop the bout 

  • For reasons other than injuries, only the Centre Referee and the supervisor can stop the bout


  • Added Powers of the Centre Referee:  

    • 1) The Bout starts and ends only with his/her command (not the command of the timekeeper)

    • 2) Automatically has power to disqualify a Competitor who receives four (4) warning points

    • 3) Has the power to issue time-outs. A Competitor can ask for a time-out (to fix safety gear or a  possible injury) but it is the decision of the Centre Referee to issue one 

  • Once the Centre Referee calls a Competitor and they are not at the matt side nor ready for  competition, the four (4) minute rule applies 

  • Once the Centre Referee calls a Competitor that is not ready or is missing or does not have the  proper equipment, the four (4) minutes rule applies 

  • The four-minute rule shall be applied as per the following: 

    • 1. After the first minute, the competitor receives the first warning 

    • 2. After the second minute, the competitor receives a second warning 

    • 3. After the third minute, the competitor receives a minus point 

    • 4. After the fourth minute, the competitor shall be disqualified 

  • If one of the competitors is injured and the fight is over because of a foul, the innocent competitor  is declared the winner.  

  • In the case of an accident, the Competitor with the highest number of points is declared the  winner. If the score is a draw, the uninjured Competitor is declared the winner. 

  • If a Competitor is out of condition they will receive a warning, at a second time the Centre Referee shall stop the clock and consult the umpires. The Centre referee then has the option to  stop the competition with an RSC (Referee Stopping Contest) 

  • N.B.: This rule also applies for continuing crying in the KIDS Sections 

  • If a Competitor voluntarily steps out of bounds or is refusing to engage in the match the Centre referee will issue a warning 

  • The umpires or the Centre Referee must check the Competitors‘ safety equipment from head  to toe 

  •  Competitors who don‘t allow the referee to check their equipment, will be disqualified ✁ The wearing of breast and groin protection will be checked verbally 

  • If an injury occurs and it is discovered that the competitor was not wearing the correct safety  equipment, he/she will be disqualified



9. Scoring Rules 

9.1 Victory on points (P)  

  • If a round is even due to equal clicker scores, the result shall be 10 points for each fighter   (10:10) 

  • The competitor with the highest clicker score shall receives 10 points, while his/her opponent  receives 9 points (10:9) 

  • If one competitor dominates the round by a clicker score difference of 10 or more his/her  opponent will only be awarded 8 points on the score card (10:8) 

  • A score with less than 8 points can only result if the judge gives a 10:8 score for the round and  points were deducted afterwards 

  • Every official First and Second warnings given to a competitor, caused by a “foul”, shall be  marked with the letter W (for warning) under “fouls” on the scorecard to indicate that the  competitor has received a warning. 

  • If an official minus point was given because of a “foul” by clear and brutal strike and this is not  merely a warning, or this warning is the third warning, each judge must deduct 1 point from  the scorecard of the involved competitor immediately when the round is over. (I.e. 10:9) The  judges shall always mark these points with the letter M (for minus point) under “fouls” on the  scorecard to indicate that the competitor has received a minus point. 

  • If a second official minus point was given, then the fighter is immediately disqualified. 

9.2 Victory on different grounds 

  • The decisions by DOD – SUR - RSC – NC and WO in Light-Contact & Kick-Light are the same as in  all other disciplines 

9.3 Centre Referee Hand Signals for Warnings 

  • The Centre Referee must tell the Timekeeper to “stop the time” to inform the offending  Competitor why they are being warned. Then, the Referee will show him/her by the warning  hand signal and then whip their finger and say “no”. 

  • Contact too strong - Punch the palm 

  • Striking in an illegal area - Show the illegal area 

  • Blind scoring - Turn the body and strike a punch or kick 

  • Holding or Grappling - Hold your own arm and pull 

  • Turning the body or run away - similar 

  • Speaking during the fight - fingers and thumb open and close


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